Village Bans WiFi After Students Looked At Porn Instead Of Going To Class

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A village in Indonesia has banned WiFi after pupils were caught looking at porn websites instead of attending classes.

The village of Curee Baroh, which lies in the conservative Bireuen region of Indonesia, has ordered around half a dozen local cafes to shut down their WiFi service with immediate effect.

The action was taken on Friday (November 23) in accordance with Sharia law, also known as Islamic law, stating the internet service was ‘damaging the morals’ of children in the village when it was found they were viewing porn instead of attending Quran study classes.

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As per the MailOnline, village head Helmiadi Mukhtaruddin told AFP:

In the past, kids would recite the Quran after evening prayers but since WiFi has become available, they’re hanging out in these shops instead.

They’re accessing pornographic images and other sites, which is very damaging to their morals.

The WiFi service in these cafes cost the equivalent of 21 US cents (16 pence) for five hours use.

The village, which is home to around 900 people, is yet to decide on how to punish cafe owners who refuse to comply with the order.

In the Bireuen district men and women are also currently not allowed to dine together unless they are married or related.

The head of the region’s Islamic Affairs office sent a circular out to restaurants and cafes in September urging them to adhere to Islamic law.

Under these rules women are unable to share a table with men while dining unless they are accompanied by either their husband or a close male relative.

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This means co-workers taking a lunch break would also be forbidden from sitting together while sharing a meal.

As per TIME, Jufliwan, head of the Bireuen district’s Islamic affairs office, told AFP:

Unmarried males and females who are not close relatives should not eat and drink at the same table, because it is sinful according to Sharia law.

The objective is to protect women’s dignity so they will feel more comfortable, more at ease, more well behaved and will not do anything that violates Sharia (Islamic law).

The district is the only region in the world’s most populated Muslim-majority country which imposes Sharia law.

It has previously been criticised for publicly whipping people who were found guilty of various offences including homosexuality, gambling and drinking alcohol.

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Speaking to The Jakarta Post, Jufliwan emphasised the circular was meant to serve as a guideline for business owners informing them how to abide by Sharia law.

He emphasised it was not intended to be oppressive, stating:

The circular was meant to keep the relationship between men and women in Bireuen in line with Sharia rather than oppress them, so they won’t get caught violating qanun jinayat [Islamic criminal code].

However, we can’t punish them as this is only a suggestion, not a regulation that carries a punishment.

Jufliwan added the circular was first issued in 2016 and has since been revised twice, including earlier this year.

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